Bird assemblages in fragmented agricultural landscapes: the role of small brigalow remnants and adjacent land uses

Collard, Stuart and Le Brocque, Andrew and Zammit, Charlie (2009) Bird assemblages in fragmented agricultural landscapes: the role of small brigalow remnants and adjacent land uses. Biodiversity and Conservation, 18 (6). pp. 1649-1670. ISSN 0960-3115


Agricultural intensification typically leads to changes in bird diversity and community composition, with fewer species and foraging guilds present in more intensively managed parts of the landscape. In this study, we compare bird communities in small (2–32 ha) brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) remnants with those in adjacent uncultivated grassland, previously cultivated grassland and current cropland, to determine the contribution of different land uses to bird diversity in the agricultural landscape. Twenty remnant brigalow patches and adjacent agricultural (‘matrix’) areas in southern inland Queensland, Australia were sampled for bird composition and habitat characteristics. The richness, abundance and diversity of birds were all significantly higher in brigalow remnants than in the adjacent matrix of cropping and grassland. Within the matrix, species richness and diversity were higher in uncultivated grasslands than in current cultivation or previously cultivated grasslands. Forty-four percent of bird species were recorded only in brigalow remnants and 78% of species were recorded in brigalow and at least one other land management category. Despite high levels of landscape fragmentation and modification, small patches of remnant brigalow vegetation provide important habitat for a unique and diverse assemblage of native birds. The less intensively managed components of the agricultural matrix also support diverse bird assemblages and thus, may be important for local and regional biodiversity conservation.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Awaiting author's accepted version, which may be deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2009 12:30
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: birds; land use; brigalow; fragmentation; intensification; bird species; remnant vegetation
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
06 Biological Sciences > 0602 Ecology > 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961306 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas in Forest and Woodlands Environments
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/s10531-008-9548-4

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